The Conduit - A Legend of the Tribe, Pt 6 (A Serial for Newsletter Subscribers ONLY)


"WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN HE'S STILL ALIVE?!"
Sig's bellow carried through the holler, his anger at being called away from Jess blazing into a fury that had his skin glowing, brilliant gold light seeping around the ink of his tattoos in a show of agitated power. Miathe ducked behind the towering pine Matchetehew had propped himself against, hiding from one twin behind the massive form of the other and trying to find his voice when he'd been woefully unprepared for Sig's reaction.
"I mean, he's still alive. At least, he is as long as you stay on that side of the clearing," Matchetehew snorted, running his tongue down a lengthened fang as the crow hopped on his shoulder, tittering its agreement. Miathe was not so amused, unwilling to trust that the Wolf wouldn't let him die a second time.
"I died, Misignwa. You saw that for yourself. I reached the place of the dead beneath the mountain. And I was sent back here." Miathe wasn't even sure Sig heard him through the growl thundering in his chest. His friend wasn't calming down, but Miathe could not defeat The Great Wolf's plan alone. He needed the Misignwa- all of them- and that meant he needed Sig to stop snarling for long enough to hear him. That meant he had to come out of hiding.
He might die a second time after all.
It was the pain in Sig's face that made the eninubaki move from the shelter of the other Misignwa, inching out into the clearing separating him from Sig's fury.  Miathe kept moving, his approach slow and deliberate, one predator meeting another as he stood before Sig... and clapped his arms around the guardian's neck in an awkward hug. "I have missed you, too, ni'nekah.
Sig stiffened, his growls subsiding as shock played over his features, his reaction unreadable until his aggression softened and his large hands patted Miathe's back with a chuff of acknowledgement. "I mourned you, you little shit."
"And I you, Misignwa."
"That's some Hallmark Channel shit, right there," Matchetehew snorted and Waapake called from his perch, ebony wings fanning to rustle in his companion's hair. "You pull this kind of shit, Waapake, and I'll make a headdress out of your ass," Matchetehew threatened his own eninubaki, pushing off of the tree he'd been leaning against to join his brother and the eninubaki in the clearing. "Now tell him what you told me, bird. And don't leave nothin' out."
 Miathe exhaled his relief, standing back to look up at his friend. "Your uncle has sent me to spy on you and the others. He tells me that Kokumthena toys with our lives and our destinies. That she has been changing the pattern and deceiving us. I came because... because Hurit told me that all is not as it seems."
Sig frowned. "You can't believe everything that sonofabitch says, bird. You know better than that."
"I do, Misignwa."
"Tell him the rest, Miathe," Matchetehew prodded and Miathe hesitated, feeling a current of anxious wariness slid over his skin.
"Out with it, bird. You came back to life, I don't spose there's much that could shock me now.," Sig encouraged him, his glow beginning to brighten again with tension that the three men could feel in the air.
"Pukachi did not kill my sister. Kokumthena did."
There was a pregnant silence before Sig spoke again.
"Well, shit. I was wrong."
"Seems there's a lot of that goin' on around here, brother," Matchetehew nodded, meeting his twin's amber eyes. "And I'm gettin' damned tired of bein' left out of the loop."
"Makes two of us," Sig agreed, a heavy hand curving Miathe's shoulder before he pivoted to head deeper into the woods, the night birds sounding out his determined stride.
Matchetehew followed his brother in silent synchrony and Miathe hurried to catch up, not understanding the silent conversation between the twins.
"Misignwa...Misignwas," he corrected, watching the darkness for eyes he could still feel in his periphery. "Where are we going?"
The twin Misignwa of Wright's Holler answered the eninubaki in unison.
"Home."

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